At the beginning of the government period, the amount for top sports was still 23 million euros. So there is now an increase of more than 30 percent, emphasizes Weyts, who traveled to the Belgian Olympic Team training camp in Belek.
“The additional resources will allow us to support another 20 percent more top athletes and we will focus even more on discovering and developing young top sports talent,” said a press release.
Weyts presents some figures that prove the stronger focus on top sport. In 2019, 75 top athletes received individual support, in 2023 this will be 111 (+48%). With these 2 million, Flanders will increase to more than 130.
There are also more and more young talents in Flanders who meet the entry criteria for top sports support and more and more teams that receive support as a whole, such as the 3×3 basketball team or the mixed 4x400m relay team.
This means more costs for support, contracts, internships and competitions. This year, Flanders will pay 2.7 million euros in wages for top athletes.
It is no coincidence that the extra 2 million euros comes in the final straight line towards Paris 2024.
The minister is also making the investment to promote sport for all. “Because seeing exercise means exercising.”
Flanders therefore asks athletes who receive financial support to take on the role of ambassadors, including through the “VIP2024” campaign (Flemish people in Paris, ed.).
“Our top talents encourage many supporters to get active themselves. How many children do not register with a sports club because they have seen one of our sports heroes shine? We are not resting on our laurels, we are putting in a lot of effort.”